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Project X 1.1.1 ($200) enhances the project management utility and fixes a number of bugs. Project X 1.1.1 expands the media abilities of the Network view to the Outline and Timeline view with the use of media tags on tasks, and is faster overall alongside improved printing. The software enables users to create and edit projects graphically with one-click updates and the potential to embed media files directly into tasks. [Download - 928KB] A Better Finder Rename 7.8 ($20) updates the file renaming software, adding a number of text removal actions and delivering a new iteration of the preferences pane. A Better Finder Rename provides a detachable and fully resizable instant preview window with drag-and-drop support. [Download - 1.9MB] MBS REALbasic plug-ins 7.3 ($28 per portion) is a collection of several plug-in parts that extend the REALbasic development environment with more than 600 classes and two controls featuring over 14,000 documented functions. The latest release includes a rewritten CoreImage for better integration with REALbasic, and splits the plug-in so users can purchase licenses in parts. VPN Tracker 4.9.2 ($90 for Personal, $200 for Professional) adds support for the DFL-200 firewall from D-Link as well as SonicWALLs' TotalSecure firewalls (models: TZ 180, TV180, TZ180 Wireless, TZ190 and TZ 190 Wireless) to the VPN client for Mac. VPN Tracker 4.9.2 allows safe data transfer between a Mac and a company network, encrypting all unsecure internet and AirPort connections. [Download - form] Snard 2.5.2 ($10) is a specialty launcher program that is usable as a system menu or as a hot key activated popup menu. Snard opens applications as root, offers flexible menu access, and performs searches locally or over the internet using Sherlock. The update fixes a bug with alias handling. [Download - 1.7MB] PageSender 4.0.1 ($40) is a free update for registered users of PageSender 4, enhancing the fax software with an Address Book panel that works in Carbon applications. THe latest release also offers live addressing in Carbon software, includes returns in cover page messages, and enables users to create new recipients by clicking in the address list. [Download - 6.6MB]
FileWave has released Asset Trustee 8.0, a cross-platform application designed for collecting and managing hardware as well as software assets across networks. Trustee records inventory, and helps with financial as well as technical analysis while managing mass updates and compliance with site licenses. The software produces automated software usage reports, and enhances reporting options in general. The software also offers new device discovery capability, an improved user interface, and a new visual style. Trustee 8.0 is a Universal Binary requiring Mac OS X 10.2 or higher, with pricing available upon request.
Ovolab has released Phlink 3.3.1, an update to its telephony software for Mac OS X that fixes a bug which could prevent receiving faxes through FAXstf Pro. Phlink features call snooping, advanced multiple voice mailbox features, and remote control of Elgato's EyeTV. When call snooping is active, Phlink records all the conversations that take place on the phone line, regardless of whether Phlink has answered the phone or not. The new Voice Mailbox Setup wizard can create an unlimited number of voice mailboxes that allows users to record their own greeting and choose which email address to forward the voicemail messages to. Phlink is priced at $150, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
While not the zenith of desktop replacements, the new Zieo N500-HD laptop by Evesham contains impressive components. It runs on a 2.2GHz, T7500 Core 2 Duo processor, and has 2GB of DDR2 RAM, as well as 1GB of Intel Turbo Memory. The hard drive meanwhile is a 150GB 5,400rpm model, and the video card is Nvidia's newly-released GeForce 8600M GT, containing 512MB of video RAM. The 17-inch screen has a native resolution of 1680x1050. Other highlights include (but are not limited to) Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, an ExpressCard slot and an HDMI port. Despite the system's name however, buyers cannot choose an HD optical drive, and are instead limited to a DVD writer. The N500 is now on sale, with configurations starting at £1,099 ($2,172). [via The Register]
Philips has provided an early glance at three new LCDs in its Ambilight series that showcase the company's expertise with lighting. The 42-inch 42PFL9832D, 47-inch 47PFL9732D, and 52-inch 52PFL7432D all share the company's trademark Ambilight system for dynamically changing colored lights behind the display to fit the mood in supporting movies. More important, the company notes, is a drastic change in the LCD panel. Each of the 1080p displays now refreshes at 120Hz for twice the responsiveness in action movies and games. LED backlighting is also new and cuts down power while also boosting color accuracy.
LightCrafts has released LightZone 3.0, the latest version of its photo-editing package aimed at rapid stylizing and presentation. The new release includes a new function dubbed "intelligent styles" that offers instant application of filters as well as other modifications to create one-click photo representations, and in a shot across the bow at rival Adobe, the developer of LightZone says that Photoshop has managed less than 4 percent market penetration among SLR photographers. The software author also noted that "after 20 years of Photoshop development, fundamental capabilities such as native RAW editing, integrated noise reduction and operational layers are still missing." The software is priced at $250, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later.
Samsung has patented technology pointing the way to a pair of future smartphones. According to diagrams submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office (click below), users may be able not only to slide out speakers or a QWERTY keyboard, but crane displays upwards for a more PC-like experience, even resting phones neatly on a desk. The concept is similar what was demonstrated in the YP-K5 music player, but with sharper angles that may make devices more convenient. Unfortunately for the public, as with most patents, there is no indication of if and/or when Samsung will bring its ideas to fruition. [via Unwired View]
The much-anticipated Nokia 8600 could drop as soon as Friday, based on a series of ads belonging to British cellphone shop Carphone Warehouse. Scheduled for a May 25th launch, the mid-range successor to the 8800 Sirocco is now labeled the Black Magic due to the mix of a smoked-glass cover with an "organic" light effect through the on-screen interface and the body of the phone itself. Additional details have also appeared that reveal 128MB of internal flash to back up the microSD slot. FM radio provides extra music beyond MP3s and other digital files.
Japanese outfit Buffalo has begun selling two new Blu-Ray drives, which are remarkable in several respects. The BRC-5125U2, for instance, is actually an external USB 2.0 drive, something virtually unseen in the realm of HD computer hardware. Both the U2 and the internal FBS-BK can also read single-layer BD discs at speeds of up to 5x, though this figure drops to 2x with double-layer discs. Meanwhile, the full plethora of CD and DVD discs (with the exception of DVD-ROM) can be burned at speeds ranging from 4x to 32x. The FBS-BK is 53,000 yen ($436), while the U2 is 63,700 yen ($524). [via Impress Watch]
Dell will wrap up the last of its Santa Rosa updates in the near future, a handful of escaped hardware details show. The M4300 Precision should become the PC builder's fastest portable workstation with a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, a maximum 4GB of memory, and unnamed dedicated graphics likely from AMD's FireGL or NVIDIA's Quadro platforms. Draft 802.11n and a finger print reader should also form the baseline. The D630 ATG will also become available soon, say sources. This direct replacement for the semi-rugged D620 Latitude ATG will fit the newer 2GHz Core 2 Duo chip and start with a minimum 60GB hard drive and a DVD burner. While unconfirmed, its graphics will likely center around Intel's GMA X3100 as a substitute for the GMA 950.
Initex Software has released Proxifier for Mac OS X, an application that allows network applications which do not support working through proxy servers to operate through an HTTP or SOCKS proxy server or a chain of proxy servers. Proxifier tunnels all connections on a system or for separate applications without special configuration, and enables users to access the internet from restricted local area networks through proxy gateways. The software bypasses firewall restrictions that prevent connections to restricted ports, and resolves DNS names while hiding each users' IP address. The latest release adds a help system, enables users to choose a Proxifier destination folder with the installation wizard, and works from non-standard locations outside the Applications folder. Proxifier is priced at $40, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Eizo today unveiled a trio of large LCDs targeting both the home and business crowds. Headlining the collection is the HD2451W. Reflected in its name, the 24-inch display focuses on receiving HD content: the screen is one of the first for computers that ships with dual HDMI inputs, allowing multiple sources such as HD DVD players or game consoles to connect and display at a native 1080p. Other sources can attach through a DVI port with HDCP encryption as well as VGA, RCA, and S-video. The display can de-interlace 1080i images while maintaining a contrast ratio as high as 3,000:1, Eizo says. Static contrast is measured at 1,000:1. Response times are said to be quick, averaging 6ms but never venturing beyond 16ms.
Apple is on track to sell 9.5 million iPods during its quarter ending in June, according to Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster. Despite NPD data suggesting such figures, the analyst is still projecting 10.5 million iPods shipped for the quarter ahead of Street consensus totaling 9.8 million units. The firm maintains an outperform rating on shares of Apple, and is heavily focused on WWDC as a potential driver for revenue in the remainder of 2007. Piper Jaffray holds a $140 price target on Apple shares.
Apple has threatened adult retailer Ann Summers with legal action if the company doesn't pull an advertisement for its $60 'iGasm' sex toy. The iGasm is a small vibrator designed to pulse to the time of any track played on an iPod, and the advertisement in question resembles Apple's silhouette iPod ads with an erotic twist: The darkened image of a female clad only in undergarments is shown against a pink background holding a white oval-shaped device, with cords leading to earbuds as well as her underwear. Apple is demanding that Ann Summers remove all posters or face legal action in court, according to Macworld UK, but thus far the adult-oriented store has left its posters in place.
Gefen today rolled out two new professional quality video scalers offering high-end scaling capability designed for broadcasting professionals testing and integrating audio/video systems. The HD-SDI to HDMI (shown at right) and HDMI to HD-SDI Scalers employ Gennum's VXP GF9351 Image Processor that provides genlock control, as well as proprietary 10-bit motion adaptive video interlacing functionality. The Gefen HDMI to HD-SDI ($1,500) and HD-SDI to HDMI (1,300) Scalers each ship with an IR remote and RS-232 ports for menu control and selection. Both Scalers are slated for shipment in June.
Two of the USA's largest general retailers will be the first to carry the new GE digital camera range, General Imaging revealed today. Three models are expected to reach both Kmart and Sears and will include special store-only versions of one model. The basic 7-megapixel A730 will be available to both companies in GE's glossy black, but the 8-megapixel A830 will be available in different colors depending on the store: a white version will appear only at Sears, while Kmart will sell the same camera in blue. A navy-tinted version of the ultra-compact, 7-megapixel G1 (pictured) will also reach Sears outlets.
Creative has joined the ranks of electronics makers with wireless streaming technology. The company's Xmod Wireless uses Wi-Fi to send audio to a matching receiver, connected to speakers or an amplifier up to 100 feet away; the difference with the Xmod is that it uses the 24-bit X-Fi "Crystalizer," which uncompresses music files to restore fidelity. Tracks can likewise have simulated surround-sound through Creative's CMSS-3D. Critical for some users may be the ability to stream music hampered by DRM. Since the Xmod actually replaces a sound card instead of attaching to one, it is treated as legitimate output, and hence should work with music bought from sources such as iTunes. A remote allows users to control track selection without a direct line of sight. A kit with one Xmod and one receiver costs $200, but customers will soon be able to buy extra receivers separately.
Entourage Email Archive X 3.3.0 ($30) is a utility for archiving emails and attachments received or sent using Microsoft Entourage on Mac OS X systems. The latest release works with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger as well as Entourage 2004, and all updates are availbale for free for registered 3.x users. The update adds support for UTF-8 when users choose to export as text and tab-text files. [Download - 1.9MB] Horizon 1.1 ($30) is a unique calendar-based personal financial management system. The software combines a calendar-based interface with a calculation engine to provide a clear and simple picture of where money comes from and where it goes. The latest release adds a toolbar, and brings calendar navigation to either side of the current month and year. [Download - 2.1MB] Downfall 2.7 ($20) updates the 3D falling blocks game, adding a new font with improved mouse support. The latest release enables players to customize in-game controls -- namely the keyboard and mouse, adds new options, and includes improved license key input. Players can also set the game speed option in the pre-game help. [Download - 1.4MB] CDFinder 5.0 ($40) helps users organize disk and data archives, tracking digital media assets such as CDs and network volumes. The update runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and imports eight catalog formats from other applications. CDFinder 5.0 also reads various photo/audio meta data, and offers AppleScript support alongside Spotlight search functionality. [Download - 4.8MB] MacFamilyTree 4.4.6 ($50) is an upgrade to the genealogy application that tracks relations in a speedy manner. The latest release includes Google Earth integration to reveal locations from a family tree in Google Earth direectly from within MacFamilyTree, and supports assigning coordinates from one location to other locations with the same name. [Download - 12MB] MailTank (from $15/month per login) is a Web-based service allowing users to work as a team to answer customer email from anywhere in the world. The latest revision of MailTank features rich statistical reports to help illustrate performance, adds support tags to help organize messages, includes a new "Redirect" action link to ensure message go where they are intended.
Lenovo today posted a teaser page for a new, special edition for the company's higher-end ThinkPad portables. The ThinkPad Reserve Edition has received no details but implies the use of a leather-bound shell in its theme, much as ASUS has done with a handful of its own notebook models. The system is also likely to use a Santa Rosa-generation Core 2 Duo processor in the wake of the ThinkPad T61 and other recent systems upgraded to the faster chips. Its performance, while unknown, is expected to be stronger than the inexpensive and more accessible Xiang Olympics notebook.
Rounding out Pandora's announcements is the news that SanDisk will featuring the service on an original MP3 player, already developed to prototype form. The player is physically similar to the Wi-Fi-enabled Sansa Connect, and will also share the use of Zing, a service that allows downloading streamed tracks, as well as mixing them in with pre-existing local playlists. Still unknown is when the player will be out and at what cost, or even what sort of file storage it will use. Owners will most likely be able to buy tracks directly from the player, but this is unconfirmed. [via TechCrunch]
Meizu today said it was planning an exceptionally thin version of its M6 media player. Titled simply the M6se, the updated version would use newer processors, a thinner shell, and a thinner battery to reduce the thickness of the player to 7mm, or less than 0.28 inches -- roughly equaling the thickness of Apple's iPod nano despite the larger 2.4-inch LCD and the enhanced performance needed to decode movies as well as more demanding audio codecs such as OGG. Battery life is the only sacrifice, Meizu says, with the lithium-ion unit dropping from 700mAh to 500mAh.
Sony today revealed the imminent release of the 1.80 PlayStation 3 update, a firmware patch the console maker says will add several key features to the 7-month-old system. Highlighted in the announcements is HD upscaling of standard-definition content, according to the company. When using HDMI, owners will have the option of upsampling DVDs -- as well as PS1 and PS2 games -- to as high as the full 1080p resolution of some HDTV sets. The feature can improve the image quality of older sources and help them match the native size of most HDTV sets.
Global electronics maker Mio has launched its latest GPS unit, the C317, in South Korea. Though primarily intended for 2D and 3D GPS navigation using a SiRFstar III receiver, it also has a DMB TV tuner, which (through picture-in-picture) can be used to watch shows even while the navigation software is in use. The unit has a 4.3-inch touchscreen, and stores map data on 256MB of internal memory, or more through SD cards. A points-of-interest search engine can locate places based on the first few characters of a name. Shoppers can now buy the 317 for 349,000 won, or $375 US. [via AVING]
Japanese home products specialist has launched the SD Zabady, a digital audio player notable for one key reason: it is waterproof. It can safely be placed in a shower or next to a bathtub, as well as less risky environments, such as a kitchen sinktop. The Zabady has 128MB of internal memory, which is filled with MP3 and WMA files through a USB cable. Its name however comes from the SD slot, which adds up to 2GB of extra files. Three alkaline batteries supply power, and it should be available soon in black or silver for 15,750 yen ($130). [via Akihabara News]
EdgeCameras today revealed a series of new cameras made just for drivers and riders wanting to capture their travels in digital form. Every system includes an NTSC-resolution tube camera as well as a small DVR unit that records footage to SD cards; owners can also send media directly to a computer through a USB cable. Multiple systems also include custom mounts or storage, EdgeCameras says. While the basic EdgeCam100 sports basic attachments and is intended to record solely to Archos jukeboxes and other portable media players, the company also produces the EdgeCam 1000 with a crush-resistant and watertight shell for bikes and other off-road vehicles. A 1GB SD card is also included to record without relying on bulkier and shock-prone devices.
Belkin has unveiled a new tool to help iPod owners locate the best FM radio frequencies to use with FM transmitters on-the-go. The service, titled "My best FM," works only in the U.S. by enabling users to enter a zip code to discover which FM frequencies are the clearest and most suitable for use with devices such as Belkin's TuneBase FM for iPod. "My Best FM" searches a comprehensive database of FM radio frequencies and lists those with the clearest transmissions in the specified area. The service is already available on Belkin's website, and is available for free.
Another front in Pandora's integration offensive is home electronics, to which end it has formed a partnership with Sonos, makers of the Digital Music System. The hardware allows users to listen to Internet radio or digital music files anywhere in their house, through a main wireless relay and a series of sub-stations connected to speakers; Pandora will allow owners to create up to 100 custom radio stations using the Sonos Controller, selecting favorite songs and artists, and rating what comes on the air.
British communications giant BT and Sony on Wednesday announced a joint effort to turn the PlayStation Portable into a voice-over-Internet phone device. Using the handheld's existing Wi-Fi connection as well as the newly released Sony Go!Cam camera/microphone hybrid attachment for the region, owners will have the flexibility of calling PCs, other PSPs, and real-world cellphones or landlines. The service will at first work only through BT's public hotspots as well as user's home connections, according to the telecom firm, but should expand to distribute the necessary software to another 100 countries so that local providers can implement the same strategy.
ExcaliburWorld Software has released Excalibur: Morgana's Revenge 3.0, a unique scenario that uses the Aleph One game engine to offer vast improvement over previous versions of the first-person action adventure game. The game boasts an epic and in-depth story line, with players taking the role as a Federation Marine resting after a previous mission aboard the exploration class Starship Kronos. "You are re-acquainted with the A.I. Merlin, who introduces you to Kronos time traveling technology, and reveals your new mission: to save mankind from the clutches of Morgana and her minions." Excalibur: Morgana's Revenge 3.0 is available for free as open source software, requiring Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Apple is likely planning one or more updates to its Mac line that will coincide with its upcoming WWDC event in San Francisco, says a new report from PiperJaffray analyst Gene Munster. The researcher expects at least the MacBook Pro to receive an update at the event, pointing to the unusually long wait for a replacement since the Core 2 Duo upgrade released last October. "On average the pro-level laptops are updated every 182 days," Munster says. "And the current models were launched 209 days ago."
Sony's American editions of the next-generation VAIO BX have been revealed, courtesy of the business section of the company's website. The 14-inch, standard-ratio BX740 and 15.4-inch widescreen BX760 all use Intel's new processor platform with an 800MHz bus as well as improved GMA X3100 integrated graphics when not using dedicated video through AMD's Mobility Radeon HD 2300. Every model also ships with 802.11n Wi-Fi as well as a fingerprint reader for security; the BX740 alone, however, has the option of an internal EVDO adapter for connecting to Sprint's cellular Internet service.
Boris FX this week announced that the entire Boris FX product line is available for the new Apple Final Cut Studio 2.0 release. Owners of Boris Continuum Complete 4.1, Boris Red 4.1, Boris FX 9.1, and Boris Graffiti 5.1 can move to Apple Final Cut Pro version 6.0 and begin working immediately. Boris projects and presets are seamlessly transitioned to Apple Final Cut Pro 6.0; RED 4.1 users will need to download the RED 4.1.4 for Final Cut Pro 6 to ensure full compatibility. The new Apple Final Cut Studio 2.0 release improves Boris plug-in integration as well as adds some key updates including support for Boris FX transitions, the company said.
Online music provider Pandora today announced multiple deals to land its radio streaming service on devices, including a key deal with Sprint. Subscribers to the cell service with both an EVDO data plan and a compatible phone will be able to create a customized Internet radio stream similar to Pandora's existing web-based service: searching for an artist or individual song can automatically generate radio with music from similar artists, guaranteeing that the selection will be relevant without requiring extensive editing. Listeners can also approve or reject songs as they reach the queue and can save stations directly from the phone rather than rely on their computer accounts.
The new 80GB PlayStation 3 is being considered as an option for the US, according to Sony Computer Entertainment's Satoshi Fukuoka. While the larger-capacity game system was previously said to have been an exclusive for Korea, the Sony spokesman noted that the US and other areas could see added storage if the market demands it. "Increasing capacity for models is one of the options," Fukuoka said today. "We make such decisions depending on the needs of the market, and every country is different."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.17 ( -0.84 )
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir
Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X